Thyroid UK

Thyroidectomy procedure

It looks very much like my wife will be having a thyroidectomy as we are told by the endo that a nodule has grown to about the size of a satsuma! which is pushing over the windpipe..

Anyway, she sees the surgeon on Wednesday to discuss, so will have some questions, like will the the thyroid come out cleanly or with the growth could a vein and nerve be involved, embedded within? Or is the procedure very straightforward, (CT and MRI scans will reveal all?) and I shouldn't worry? but I do, as being an anxiety sufferer makes it worse, and I try not to bother my wife too much with my worries, as she seems quite upbeat about it all..has anyone else gone through similar? Thanks..

1 Reply

There are recognised risks with thyroidectomy, about 1 in 50 will have some laryngeal nerve damage of which only a small percent is permanent and there is also risk of damage to the parathyroid glands, 4 small glands adjacent to the thyroid which regulate calcium metabolism. There are also risks pertinent to the individual size of nodule and position of swelling etc. The surgeon should give you the relevant statistics at your consultation which you can then use to weigh up against the risks if you do not proceed.

On a personal level I had multiple nodules which severely restricted my windpipe and were squashing my oesophagus making swallowing difficult. I had a TT in March 2014 which was straight forward with no complications, home after 24 hours. It was immediately easier to breathe and swallow. I am aware that not everyone's surgery is so straight forward.

Please try not to worry, could you send a list of questions in advance to the surgeon so you feel less anxious during your wife's consultation? You could also ask for a written reply so you can assess the risks in a calm atmosphere. Good luck.


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